Preparing to take off over seas exactly two weeks from today, I’ve found myself buried in research of the most exciting adventures to be had in Europe. I’ll be making my way from Amsterdam, over to Budapest, down Italy and around to Spain, but I’ve found some of the most intriguing attractions to be beyond the obvious. I am counting down the days until my arrival in the Cinque Terre, Italy.
The Cinque Terre are five towns along a section of northern Italy’s Mediterranean coastline with incredibly scenic mule trails connecting them. The trails range from fairly easy to challenging. Whether you’re an experienced hiker, or leisurely walker, there is a trail for you. While there are several free trekking paths, trail #2 is by far the most popular, making the admission fee acceptable for most tourists. This trail is miles long, leading from the northern town of Monterosso to the southern Riomaggiore. Check out this map for a closer look at the various paths. The Via dell’Amore, also known as Lover’s Lane, is a spacious, flat and smooth section of trail #2. “It’s famous for its kissing statue and tunnel covered in declarations of love,” according to Elena Ciprietti’s article on www.walksofitaly.com.
The path from Corniglia to Vernazza is more challenging. This path takes climbers to the highest point in the Cinque Terre and back down. Among olive groves, exotic flowers and plants you’ll find a stunning view worth the extra effort exerted to get there.
There are also several free challenging path options for more experienced hikers. Regardless of what path you take, you are guaranteed a beautiful view and it seems pretty difficult to actually get lost. This is great news to someone with a poor sense of direction such as myself! The Cinque Terre can be hiked in a day or leisurely spread out across a few days, giving visitors plenty of time to enjoy the towns and food they have to offer. For a personal look into the experience of bloggers who’ve hiked the paths visit Of Elephants and Castles blog or Italy Beyond the Obvious here.